Tuesday, February 4, 2014

One Yoga Year

I just received a "one year anniversary" email from the yoga studio.

So a year ago, I accidentally stumbled in late to a power class and got my ass kicked. I left feeling way too slippery, sweaty and overwhelmed, choking on the smell of incense and determined to never do yoga in a heated room ever again because it is nothing at all like sitting on the couch, of which I'm a big fan.

One year later I work there and am days away from being certified to teach the exact same type of class I swore I didn't like. Haha, universe, you comedic genius, you. (And when I say "comedic genius" we all know I mean "crazy bitch" but I'm too scared to say it.)

I still don't know if I want to teach though. I know 2-3 posts ago I probably said I did, but tonight is not one of the nights I think so. Mostly because I already have several jobs and I have done enough things that feel scary for the year, even though it's only February. I want to be the type of person that could teach a yoga class, but do I actually have to teach a yoga class to do that?

No, really, I'm asking.

(I just re-read that and I think you might actually have to teach a yoga class or two to be the type of person that could teach a yoga class. Fuck.)

At some point in this journey, I have assured people that I will not become one of those people who chirps up with, "You should try yoga!!" in response to every life complaint. I thought of those people as annoying and simple-minded and incredibly unhelpful. Rarely is anyone like, "Oh my god, I should try yoga! Problem solved! Thanks so much for suggesting it, I feel better already!" No. Those people are like, "Oh, right, I forgot she was one of those annoying yoga people, next time we see her at Target, let's not make eye contact."

And yet, I am one of those people.

Luckily my job gives me an outlet to do that. I cannot even begin to tell you how many people come in to buy a new student special and end up involved in a quiet and intense conversation about what they are looking for in life. How many people are willing to bare their soul about their anxiety or depression or real life stresses to me, the lady swiping their credit card, and how incredibly relieved they seem when I lean over the desk and share how I ended up there for the same reason and how far I feel I've come (and how far I have yet to go--another thing I love about the mental and physical practice of yoga, it is ever evolving.)

It carries into real life, too, though. Need to lose weight? Gain strength? Detox? Back hurt? Sleep better? Bored? Overwhelmed? Need friends? Anxious? Sad? Doing great? Do a headstand? You should do yoga! I cringe typing it and I try not to say it too often, but I mean it. For me, it's mental more than physical, but I love how yoga is different things for different people. Everyone I meet is looking for something and so many end up finding it there. Corny or not, it's a beautiful thing.

Part of my yoga teacher training homework was assisting classes. Assisting is when you go around helping people either do yoga poses better or feel better doing it and it involves touching sweaty stranger skin and being close to others which is not something I've gotten a lot of experience with from my couch. Some people don't really like it (I was one of them this time last year). I could sense that and it put the socially awkward penguin in me on high alert at first. But eventually I paid more mental attention to the people who would wave me over, mouthing, "Do that thing you did last time!" or giving me a thumbs up with a contented sigh or even just the ones that quit tensing up as I approached (because it's the small things sometimes), and I began to like it.

 At the end of class I would sit at the front with the teacher and look out over rows and rows of shiny, happy, sweaty, peaceful people during savasana, watching the dramatic rise and fall of their chests and the heavy, satisfied way their bodies settled and rested. It's a beautiful thing. In that quiet moment, I don't worry about them hating me or if I've contracted MRSA.

And I know they don't hate me. And I probably didn't contract MRSA. I hope.

But all of that (minus the MRSA) almost makes me want to be a yoga teacher.  I need to be a yoga student for a while longer before I could possibly be the kind of teacher I want to be, so I guess I have some time to think about it. I know I could do it, it's more of a "Do I want to?" thing. I also know I want to, so maybe it's a little bit of a "Could I do it?" thing. Skydiving was easier.

This ended up being pretty "Dear Diary-ish"...sorry about that. I think we worked through some things though and hopefully I've gotten my "Hey guys, try yoga!" out for now. I graduate on Sunday (thank the sweet baby Lord Jesus because love it or not, I'm done with this aspect of it). I guess we'll find out what happens next whenever it happens.

1 comment:

Nova said...

I'm pretty sure you'd know if you contracted MRSA haha. Congratulations on trying something new, sticking with it, and gaining a new perspective!